There is nothing worse than a slow website. Not only is a slow website bad for the end-user, it is also horrible for search engine optimisation (SEO) – and can result in lower ranking in search engine results. That will lead to fewer website visits, customer conversion and revenue for you.
To avoid is, follow these seven steps.
1. Use Minification For Code
You are probably wondering what minification is -it is a super efficient technique for streamlining code. In simple terms, minifying code removes every element that is unnecessary and redundant, to ensure your site is only using the necessary code. Which goes a long way to answer making the website light. Minification is typically done manually but if you have no coding experience it can be a little bit daunting. Fortunately, there are a couple of free tools that can help you minify code in no time.
2. Make Use Of Browser Cache
When you visit a new website, your browser takes out time to download webpage files on the page, so the website is displayed properly on your electronic device. The size of file varies from page to page -some are large and some are small. As a result, the load time of new website is slowed down.
As a website owner, you can set up the browser cache option on your webpages, so that first site’s users can have faster loading time, the next time they visit your webpage. If you would like to cache some files but don’t know where to start – you can start with files that don’t frequently change such as – social media icon imagery, your logo or any other files that do not require frequent edits.
3. Choose A Better Web Hosting Plan
So you get web hosting for only three dollars a month? That’s cool. But don’t forget-you get what you pay for and the speed of your website is heavily influenced by the web hosting plan you choose. In addition,the web hosting industry is very competitive, lots of web host are constantly trying to undercut their competitor’s price while overlooking the quality of service. “ What this means,” says Brenda Wilde of domain4less.co.nz, “is that the cheapest hosting plan may not necessarily be the greatest.”
4. Use CloudFare
CloudFare is a distributed DNS (Domain Name Server) provider and a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Its contents delivering network delivers static content from locations close to your site visitors – which result in increased site loading speeds (2x faster according to CloudFare).
If you are just getting started with CDN’s, here’s how they operate:
CDN’s house all your static content like videos, images and more on servers around the world. For example, when a web user in Paris visits your website, the static content on your website will be delivered to him from a location that is close by – which results in a reduction of traffic load experience for the user and improved site speed.
Although CDNs are not new, CloudFare is recommended because it is easy to use and setup. Within five minutes, you can get it up and running with no help from technical support- making it ideal for quickly increasing site speed without devoting hours to configuring CDN.
5. Resize/Compress Images
The major issue with images is the amount of visual space they occupy – images that don’t load or are broken can immediately be noticed. In addition, images accounts for most downloaded bytes on a webpage. Not paying attention to image optimisation would be fast website loading time suicide.
How do you optimise images?
Images require a lot of Internet bandwidth because of the file size. To reduce the amount of bandwidth resources required to load an image, you would want to have it compressed. There are a couple of online tools that you can use like – for example, TinyPNG which allows you to compress large images while keeping their quality.
If the image file is SVGS you could try SVG from the web interface or command line, SVNG from Jake Archibald. Using these tools will give you images that have the same quality but with very reduced sizes.
Select the right image resolution
Listed below are the most used screen resolutions in 2018 according to global stats:
- 2.94% use a resolution of 1440 x 900
- 22.55% use a resolution of three 60 x 640 (mobile)
- 4.91% use a resolution of 37 5 x 667 (mobile)
- 11.73% use a resolution of 1366 x 768
- 8.26% use a resolution of 192 x 1080
These statistics represents over 50% of web users, so keep this in mind when adding images to your website.
Select the right image type
This can be a little tricky but it can be mastered over time. A simple guide to image type selection would be:
For geometry shape or an illustration, go with SVG.
For other image types, you will be best served with raster graphics. Please note, raster graphics card in different variations -web, JPEG, and PNG. Most JPEGs of a similar image file size as PNGs are typically smaller than PNG images. However, if you would like more transparency then choose a PNG.
Consider removing the image
The effect you may be trying to achieve it might be possible with the use of CSS effects like shadows or gradients. If this would also work, then the use of an image would be counterproductive since you can get the same effect in CSS for a lesser amount of f bytes required for the image file.
6. Enable Gzip Compression
Gzip compression works in a similar manner as compressing the files on your PC into zip files. What this means is , your website pages size will reduce significantly- hurray! Gzip compression is the best and most effective technique for significantly reducing response time and HTTP requests oftentimes by over 70%. When you set up Gzip compression, your website files are automatically be compressed and converted into a zip file. As a bonus, you get a great savings on bandwidth and improve page loading time – when a web user visits your website, the zip files are automatically unzipped to make the content accessible.
7. Reduce The Size Of Your Website
Websites that take more than three seconds to load experience high bounce back rate. One of the major culprits of this issue – selecting the wrong formats for the images on your website – which makes it bloated and hurts user browsing experience. Yes, again with the images! 12% of mobile web pages are over 4MB and 70% are more than 1MB. What this means essentially is that, it will take about seven seconds to download a webpage that is 5MB with great 3G connection.
Pro tip: we recommend keeping each webpage below 0.5 MB for optimal performance.
By James Cummings
who is Founder and CEO of dailyposts(.co.uk). He is a business psychologist and serial entrepreneur.